Chapter Four

You became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.  Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…and I turned you to ashes upon the earth…you have become a horror.  Ezekiel 28:16-19 NKJV

“How many did we lose?”

Gabriel shook his head sadly.

“A third.”

The words barely penetrated Wisdom’s mind as she stared after the fallen angels, smoking trails curling from each fiery descent.

“So many.”

Wisdom turned at Discretion’s voice.

“Our sister…”

“I know.”

“Oh, Discretion, maybe I should have warned her about Lucifer sooner! I saw her fascination with him. If I would have guarded her better, watched over her more…”

“It is not your fault, and you know it.”

Wisdom’s face crumpled.

“Yes. Oh, I know she made her own choice, but how I wish she would have listened to me!”

Discretion wrapped her arms around Wisdom. Wisdom stared at Folly, too still in the crater that held her in its cruel embrace.

“Now I have to forget her,” she whispered. A hiccup followed a sob.

“No.”

Wisdom glanced at Discretion, surprised at the fervor in her voice.

“Don’t ever forget. Don’t ever forget the agony of losing our sister. Don’t ever forget the cost of rebellion.” She dropped her voice. “Remember and be wiser still, sister.”

Wisdom nodded, gazing back at the globe, tears tracing silent trails down her cheeks.

“Perhaps she will turn back to the Maker yet,” Discretion whispered.

Wisdom heard her sister’s low words and sucked in her breath.

Could it be…? Could Folly repent—come home still?

“Wisdom…”

She spun around at the word from her Master.

“Guard my creation, Wisdom. They need you now more than ever.”

“Yes, my Love.”

Wisdom bowed, and, whirling, quickly kissed her sister’s cheek. Vaulting into the air, she flew swiftly toward the new Earth and the Garden.

 

Folly groaned and curled tighter into herself. What was this agony wracking her body? Why did everything hurt so?

Closing her eyes tight, she tried to fall back into the oblivion of seconds before.

Images rushed her mind, denying her rest. She sat up, screaming as her skin stuck and peeled onto the rocks around her. Her wails of pain quickly turned to cries of outrage.

It was his fault. He had done this to her.

She raised her face to the barely visible blue above her through the cavern’s gaping hole.

“Curse you!” she shrieked. “I will curse you all of my days!”

She dissolved into sobs and tried to stand. Giving up after falling again and again, she curled into a ball and wept.

“Curse you,” she whispered, trying to give into a rest that never came.

 

Folly blinked owlishly and swatted away the hands grasping her. Why were they so rough?

She gasped and sat up as a sharp slap stung her cheek.

With wide eyes, she stared at Abundance. Or, who used to be Abundance. Could that possibly be Abundance?

“Get up, fool. I don’t have time to carry your sorry hide around all day.”

The snarling voice and distorted, battered face could not be Abundance’s.

“What are you staring at? You don’t look so hot yourself, you know.”

Folly blinked. She tried to make her mind understand the wholly new tone of voice. Directed at her.

“Uh, sorry, I think. What’s going on?”

Abundance growled and looked like she wanted to slap Folly again.

Folly flinched, but Abundance’s hands stayed fisted at her sides.

“The master wants to have a meeting.”

“The master…”

“What, did you hit your head a little too hard there, princess? Lucifer doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

Folly fell back with a sigh of relief. Oh. That master. Shame and indignation warred within her as she remembered her curses to Heaven above. Or, more like, to the one in Heaven above.

She wasn’t looking forward to facing that master ever again.

She sat up quickly, pushing past the pain.

Why should she care what he thought? She wasn’t under his rule anymore!

She made herself stand, hanging against the wall for support. She needed to get to Lucifer’s side.

“Help me?”

Abundance snorted.

“You’re on your own, sister. I’m not gonna be late.”

Abundance pushed past several other hovering shadows, disappearing from sight.

Sister.

Folly wrenched away from the word that resonated in her head. She was no one’s sister anymore. She was Lucifer’s alone. And she wasn’t his sister. She was his partner.

She tried to focus on her surroundings. Darkness everywhere, yet she could still see in a fuzzy, grayish hue. She strained to see who was in the room with her, but the phantoms stayed just out of reach.

She hung onto the jagged, rough wall that burned cold and hot at the same time. Where was she? She got closer to the milling shadows. They drew back, still between her and the black hole in which Abundance had disappeared.

“Move,” she growled as she tried to claw her way to the doorway.

In the darkness, she could see their shape and form, but it wasn’t until they were right in front of her—like Abundance had been—that she could make out their countenance. She strained to see.

Her eyes burned with the darkness. It hurt so much. She blinked rapidly, trying to adjust her eyesight. She would get used to it, this unnatural dark. She had to.

Making her way out of the room, she stumbled over the uneven ground as she felt her way along tunnels that twisted in endless confusion.

Just when she thought she would scream in hopelessness, they gave way to an enormous cavern. Her eyesight cleared. Torches with blue flame flickered against the walls, surrounding multitudes of angels. Two large beams of garish light across the yawning room drew her gaze.

She sighed in relief when she saw Lucifer on the other side of the room, masses of scarred, wounded angels surrounding him.

“Lucifer,” she called. Her words came out like a croak, not penetrating to even those closest to her.

“But, Satan…” an angel loudly objected.

“Lucifer!” he bellowed. “My name is Lucifer! Just because that…that…king said otherwise in no way means I must bow to his wishes! You will call me Lucifer.”

His fist came down hard, and the angel dropped to the ground, covering his face against further attack.

Lucifer sank back into a coarse throne of solid rock.

“We cannot attack so soon, thanks to your ineptitude,” he glared at the angels closest, accusation evident on his face. “So we will do the only thing we can do.”

He stood and circled his hand in the air. A hazy fog emerged and grew in size. He snapped his fingers, and Folly cringed against the light.

She wasn’t the only one. When she opened her eyes, other angels had stumbled backward and were covering their faces against the bright white invading their dark sanctuary.

As Folly’s eyes adjusted, she could make out the two creatures playing in the lord’s Garden.

Her lips turned down in a pout. Why on Earth was he showing them this? She was sick of anything to do with the lord!

“We cannot attack the throne room, so we will attack them. Yes, god’s precious creatures will have no idea what hit them.”

Folly cringed at his unattractive, mocking voice, even though she agreed with his words. Where was the smooth, irresistible Lucifer of before?

“We will attack them so hard, so furiously, rip everything the master has given them away, that they will turn away from their maker.”

He sank down and seethed, gripping the stone arms until blood drizzled from his fingers. He stared above their heads, eyes unfocused and crazed.

“He may have won this battle, but he will not win the war.” He bit out each word and flung it from him.

Folly trembled at the back of the room, afraid to come any closer. Who was this monster in her god’s place?

He straightened, his eyes snapping to an angel near the front.

“You. Go see who they have defending the Garden. Report back immediately.”

“Why her? Why Abundance?” an angel whined. “Abundance…”

Lucifer cut the angel off, pounding his fist on the rock arm of his black throne.

“Abundance? Abundance? Who is Abundance? No, she shall be called Famine from this day forth.” He turned to Famine. “You are not to bring life and wealth and fullness, but you are to twist all goodness away from God’s creatures until they can no longer breathe. Wring them dry, until they curse his name.” He turned back to the offending angel. “If I hear you call her Abundance again, you will answer to me!”

Lucifer’s chest heaved, his teeth bared as he screamed in the angel’s face.

Angels cowered before him; fear more real than it had ever been to Folly. She could taste its metallic bitterness. She felt it soak into her charred and bleeding skin. She could see it envelope the room like a swirling, rotting blanket. She heard its mournful keen as it swept through each angel present. The stench of it turned her stomach; the putrid smell made her want to retch.

Lucifer stood, covering his wince gracefully. Smoke curled out of his wings and shoulders.

He paused, seeing Folly for the first time. His lips curled in disgust as he looked down at her.

“Do something to make that one look better.”

He turned to leave, angels clearing a hasty path. Stopping, he glanced over his shoulder at his throne.

“Make it bigger.”

As he swept from the room—his limp only visible to Folly, she knew him so well, or, she thought she did—angels rushed to the jagged throne, tearing it down with their bare hands.

Moans and wails rose as angels cried out in despair and in pain. Blood appeared on the hands ripping apart the throne, and makeshift tools appeared in wounded hands as they started pounding at rock, a new throne slowly emerging from the never-before resistant rock.

Folly jumped as boney fingers clawed at her. They tugged her back down the path she had come. Forced onto the bed she had crawled from a lifetime ago, hands pinched and accosted her. A nasty, thick cream was smeared on her bare skin.

She choked and gagged and looked up at the closest angel’s face.

Healing stared at his task, his mouth a grim, thin line.

“Who are you now?” she choked out.

“Death.”

Task done, he left without saying another word.

The apparitions quickly swarmed her, picking at her charred skin, causing unbelievable agony.

Realization soaked into her as her mind fired with unwanted thought.

Was this her life now?

What had she given up?

What had she done?

 

Wisdom and Folly: Sisters by Michele Israel Harper, Chapter Four © 2014

Unforgiven by OmarRodriguezV on deviantART.  http://omarrodriguezv.deviantart.com/art/Unforgiven-279867039

Used with permission

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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